Consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever Ltd on Monday beat market forecasts with a 18.2% year-on-year rise in net profit at Rs 753.8 crore for the October-December quarter against Rs 637.5 crore a year ago on higher prices as well as sales.
The Indian arm of Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever reported a 16.4% year-on-year jump in sales at Rs 5,852.7 crore during the quarter compared to Rs 5,027 crore a year-ago. The company said it has also managed to improve its operational margins in the quarter.
HUL's soaps and detergent segment grew by 21% during the quarter, the company said. "Rin bar and Surf Excel quickwash were re-launched during the quarter and business continued its focus on driving up gradation," said R Sridhar, chief financial officer, HUL. The company's personal products witnessed a growth of 14% with strong performances in skin and hair products while beverages delivered competitive growth of 11% with both tea and coffee growing in double digits. The company's packaged foods grew by 14%.
The company expects commodity prices to remain high in 2012. Margins are also expected to be under pressure due to increased competition in the consumer goods segment. HUL saw a 21% jump in raw material prices and packaging costs in the third quarter of the current fiscal year.
It maintained a stable and positive outlook for 2012.
Parent Unilever had last week warned that growth rates in emerging markets would fall by 1% in 2012 as consumers cut down spending mainly due to slow down in Europe and America. Unilever now makes 54% of its turnover from China, Brazil, India and other emerging markets.